Thank You & Please Fill Out the Final Evaluation BY: PAUL KAWATA · NMAC· SEPTEMBER 22, 2016
Thank you 2016 USCA sponsors. Without your support, NMAC could not do this meeting. This year we were able to award over 300 scholarships. To the participants, on behalf of the board and staff of NMAC, thank you for making this year’s United States Conference on AIDS so special. I know that I’m biased, but there was something different about this year’s meeting. So many people talked about how the meeting was transformative. In fact, Dr. Rich Wolitski from the Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy at HHS wrote in a recent blog,
“I felt an excitement at the US Conference on AIDS (USCA) that I hadn’t felt for a while. We’re at the start of something new, something important, that’s just
starting to catch fire. I can’t tell you how…”
I felt that same energy at HRSA’s All Titles meeting. We are collectively beginning to believe in the possibilities of ending the epidemic. Biomedical HIV prevention is real and if we are smart and work together, an AIDS-free generation may be more than just word.
Your feedback is essential to making USCA better. Please fill out this short two-page online evaluation. NMAC takes your input very seriously, this year we changed all the tracks, added more pathway topics, and tried to get you into plenary sessions using the Southwest airline model of boarding planes because of last year’s comments.
2016 USCA Youth Scholars I love this photo with this year’s Youth Scholars. Their spirit, sense of fun, and willingness to be part of the solution is infectious. Hopefully, they will be the leaders that will take us to the end. We will put together a final report; however, I wanted to share some of the comments I received on Facebook and Twitter.
Shamari Haynes I've been blessed with the opportunity to have attended the 2016 United States Conference on AIDS in Hollywood,Florida over the last few days and what a life changing experience it has been!! Aside from it being both educationally enriching and a huge roller coaster of emotions (I cried almost every 30 minutes), it gave me a greater appreciation of who I am, the lifestyle I live and motivated me to acknowledge my truth and to stand proudly in it because I am loved and valued and should be very unapologetic about it all.
#USCA2016 allowed me to meet new people, connect, hear and learn about the struggle that my fellow HIV + & - brothers and sisters of the LGBTQ community face every day! It reminded me that I am very fortunate & not alone & that I am so special that God gave me something not all human beings are lucky to have. The fact that I sat in a room with hundreds of people who all share the same vision, advocates for change & work every day towards an AIDSfree generation was so heartwarming; and even when we stumbled upon differences in opinions we all agreed to disagree and showed respect nonetheless. I've been inspired to make a change in my community and to accept every challenge faced with an open mind and heart. I'm reassured that my work in the field of HIV and AIDS is, in fact, worth something and being an advocate for HIV education, prevention, and acceptance of those who society have deemed as "different" for the lack of a better word will encourage others to look at things more openly.
I am so grateful for this experience and the connections made! Kudos to NMAC & the USCA host committee for doing the damn thing this year! Until next year...
This has been THE BEST USCA Conference...EVER! USCA 2016 Was. All. That! Wonderful workshops, great plenaries, fantastic friends (old and new), a beautiful, scenic location and the Fabulosity of Paul A Kawata!!! Thank you NMAC for giving us what we needed!
Jeff Berry Words can't begin to describe how grateful I am for the events of this past week at the US Conference on AIDS. I go to these kinds of big meetings three or four times a year, but this year I felt a real kinship with all of my sisters and brothers, it was like a reunion of sorts, and it is the first time that I was hardly able to attend any sessions because I was too busy doing my own sessions or in meetings. It's good that HIV long-term survivors and those aging with HIV are finally getting the attention they deserve. It was great connecting with new friends and seeing old ones (pun intended), thank you for continuing to lift me up and make me a better person! ❤
There were so many wonderful comments. Thank you to all the attendees, faculty, exhibitors, volunteers, host committee, planning committee, national partners, and donors. All of us working together have a unique opportunity to end an epidemic, but it won’t happen without a commitment to urgently fight for health equity and racial justice.